If you’re hooked on Netflix chances are that you’ve at least grown curious about The Irishman either because you heard it was coming or because it’s one of the first times that we’ve seen Joe Pesci in a long time. Or it could be something else since it does follow the life of the infamous Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a noted hitman for the mafia back in his day and the man who confessed to killing Jimmy Hoffa. Whether that’s true or not is hard to say since it was a deathbed confession and there’s really no other witness alive that could attest to it. Those days of the mafia and their goons aren’t entirely gone, but they’re certainly different than they used to be and the bygone days when a person could be whacked in the same style or find themselves capable of multiple homicides without ever being caught are pretty much over. One thing about the movie though, and this might seem random, is that the music seems to take you back to a time when things seemed simpler but were just as complicated, and just as deadly.
Here are the five best songs from The Irishman.
5. You Belong to Me – Jo Stafford
When you think about the days of Irish gangsters you think about an era when life was a little simpler and a little more civilized, but no less dangerous since despite the feelings of love and romance that were still in the air at the time, the courting between a man and a woman was vastly different than it is now. Before technology a man would actually approach a woman without having to know everything about her first. There was no solid movement about gender or about who was offended by this or that, it was a simple matter of man sees woman, man’s attracted to woman, man tries to talk to woman. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but that was how it worked.
4. The Fat Man – Fats Domino
When watching a movie that’s set in the time period that The Irishman is Fats Domino seems like a perfect artist to accompany just about anything since his music had such a pleasing, jumpy quality to it that you couldn’t help but get moving to it. The music of this era was so great that it made you want to get up and dance or at least sit there and tap your feet to the beat. Just saying the name Fats Domino in some areas of the US is enough to get people excited since his music was dynamic in a way that inspired a lot of people that came up in the music industry and just a great deal of audiences in general.
3. I Hear You Knocking – Smiley Lewis
Something about The Irishman and the songs that were selected for it seem to inspire a great deal of emotion that is kind of all over the place, almost like it must have felt for Frank Sheeran at the time that he went to work for Russell Buffalino. The guy pretty much left his family eventually for his life in the mafia, no matter how the movie wants to depict it. He might have cared for them and been providing for them, but Sheeran’s life was for the mafia at one point and to think that he might have tried to go back to his family seems like it would have been disastrous. He did remarry at one point though and had another daughter.
2. In the Still of the Night (I’ll Remember) – The Five Satins
The one thing about Frank Sheeran is that the guy was a noted psychopath that became used to killing when he was still in the US Army. He took orders, he carried them out, and he made sure that the other side was made to suffer for the things they’d done or just because he felt like getting a bit of revenge for his buddies that had been killed or wounded. Sheeran was not what you might call a docile individual outside of his usual demeanor, as he would kill at the drop of a dime when told to do so, and Buffalino was the guy that saw the potential in him and made sure that Sheeran was given tasks that he would carry out without reservation.
1. Cry – Johnnie Ray
In all the time he was working for Buffalino it’s said that there was only one murder that gave Sheeran even an instant of pause, and that came when he had to pull the trigger on his friend Jimmy Hoffa. He knew very well that Hoffa was out of control, he knew that Hoffa wasn’t going to lie down for anyone, but he also knew that if he said no to killing Hoffa that he would be next in line, and Jimmy would die anyway. That’s the story at least from Sheeran’s confession and one that seems fairly accurate despite the lack of any evidence that can be used to corroborate his story.
Frank Sheeran was a killer without a doubt, but when it comes to Jimmy Hoffa there’s still enough doubt to make one wonder how the tale really went.